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Chapter 39 – There’s No Free LunChapter
“It’s good that you accepted but don’t be complacent. There is no responsibility as a representative and anyone can challenge you for the spot throughout the 2-month training period. The final holder of the representative position at the end of the training will be ent.i.tled to a special promotion. That is it for today. You are free to go home.”
They were dismissed but no one had the energy to leave and just busy chatting among themselves about what they just learnt.
Those closest to Leon were pleasantly surprised and started looking at him differently. Lynne was the least surprised. She knew he was capable but didn’t expect him to be this capable. Leon felt helpless at Fatty Ben’s twinkling eyes.
“Wow you are awesome, bro… no, boss.” Fatty Ben started changing how he address Leon.
“Don’t start wors.h.i.+ping me now.” Leon shrugged. Being the representative didn’t give him any immediate benefits and only made him public enemy number one again. The students eyed his position covetously.
They weren’t sure what the special promotion was but considering only one out of all of them would be ent.i.tled to it, it had to be something good. They thought that having a better position in the military would allow them an easier time during their service, but their thinking was a bit simple and naive.
“Leon Bradford, with the instructor as witness, I challenge you!” A 3rd step awakener challenged him. No one had left yet, and the student took first opportunity to challenge him. Like the rest of the students at the 3rd step, he wasn’t convinced that Leon was stronger than them. Since the instructor didn’t mention how strong he was, they believe he was also at the 3rd step like them.
Leon was speechless, while glancing at the challenger that was still recovering from his fatigue. He could have picked a better time to challenge him. Even if the student manages to beat Leon, he would just defeated by the next challenger with his exhausted body. Leon silently labelled him an idiot.
“Well go ahead then, make your move.” Leon accepted the challenge straightforwardly. The representative position wasn’t something he wanted but since it was given to him, he wouldn’t let others obtain it so easily. He wasn’t a philanthropist. If the student wanted his position, then he had to earn it. There was no free lunch in the world.
“Right here…? Are you sure? There’s people around us.” The challenger said with doubt. Someone might get caught in their fight.
“Don’t worry, it will end quickly.” Since his cover was blown, he was going to display his strength and exert his dominance or else he would be tired out by the endless number of challenges. Of course, he wasn’t going to display his full strength as there was no need to and it was unwise.
“Y-You! Fireball!!” The challenger had his own pride and was easily angered for being looked down upon. He let go of his misgivings and condensed a fireball and threw it at Leon. His body was too exhausted to fight physically and resorted to using his ability. He was confident in winning because fire was the most destructive element and he a.s.sumed that Leon was physically drained like him.
Leon stopped the fireball with his bare hand. He was a 5th layer tempered body with 5-element body, fire from 3rd step awakeners couldn’t burn him and just felt warm in his hands instead.
“Are we going to play with fire now?” Leon formed a miniature fire dragon and let it dance on the tip of his fingers. The fire was no longer in the challenger’s control when he threw it, so Leon was able to wrestle control of the fire and tame it easily.
“Y-You are also a fire user…?” The challenger widened his eyes at Leon’s exquisite control. He didn’t know what kind of creature the fire dragon was, but he didn’t care. A contest of elemental abilities requires one’s mental focus and he couldn’t afford to be distracted.
“Why ask the obvious?” Leon tossed the fire dragon back at the challenger without warning.
“W-Wait! Fire s.h.i.+eld!!” The challenger wasn’t ready to receive Leon’s attack and casted a wall of fire to block the attack in a panicky manner.
The thin wall of fire couldn’t block the dense fire dragon for even a second and was directly pierced through. The fire dragon attack stops abruptly in front of the challenger’s face under Leon’s control, making the challenger’s face pale as he stumbled backwards and fell on his bottoms.
“Do you admit defeat?”
The challenger’s face changed from pale to red when he was asked.
“I do not! You launched a sneak attack on me!”
“Are you kidding me? Am I supposed to yell out my attack like a fool like you? What kind of concept is that? Isn’t that just asking to be countered?” Leon had the urge to slap the kid. What sneak attack? He attacked openly.
“Y-You are p.i.s.sing me off! That’s how you duel here on campus!” The challenger was used to the dueling method on campus and had not been in a real fight before. To begin with, they were taught that by giving voice to their attack, they would be able to form their attack easier and the longer they chant the stronger it is. It was just like a magician chanting their magic in the stories.
Were those stories also the demon’s work? Leon secretly blamed demons for how these n.o.ble scions think and fight. If the demons knew, they would be angered to death and retort with; What the h.e.l.l do you stupid humans do got to do with us!?
“Is it? Well I don’t have time to play games with you. Do you also expect the beasts to wait for you to defend when they yell out their attacks in battle on the battlefield?” Leon felt the challenger was very ridiculous and childish. Leon wondered with all those raised with a silver spoon was like this. He knows that commoner kids, who grew up with hards.h.i.+p are much more mature compared to the n.o.ble scion in front of him.
“…” The challenger was unable to retort Leon’s words.
“You have lost, Sean. Stop embarra.s.sing yourself.” The Instructor checked his information on the list in his hands before calling out.
“Yes… Yes, sir.” Sean said dejectedly. He felt the result was unacceptable, but he didn’t dare to retort the instructor’s words. Leon dispersed the fire dragon into thin air.
“Leon’s words are very true. Don’t expect the beasts to show you mercy on the battlefield. Now is there anyone planning to challenge him? If not, I’m leaving.” Instructor Eugene asked, while making a sweeping glance through the crowd.
None of the 3rd step awakeners stood up for the challenge. It was just asking to be humiliated. Clearly Leon had exceptional control over fire, and they had no hopes of winning a contest of ability against him. They would wait until they fully recover physically before they challenge him.
“No one? I’m leaving then.” Instructor Eugene and the rest of the teachers and soldiers present left.
Leon also glanced at the crowd. He spotted Edric’s ugly look and hostility. Leon made his way over, while the crowd made way for him.
“You look unconvinced. Did you want to challenge me?”
“N-No…” Edric was startled and denied it.
“Hoh… I see.” Leon rubbed his chin in thought before getting closer and whispering in a low voice only Edric could hear, “Were you the one that poisoned me?”
“No. Are you be joking with me?” Edric laughed dryly, while doing his best to remain calm but his eyes couldn’t help but changed as his heart shook at the question.
“Hahaha, yeah just a joke.” Leon didn’t pry deeper. He noticed the small reaction Edric tried to hide with his keen eyes and got his answer. Edric was the culprit, Leon concluded. His two friends were probably also accomplice considering they were always together.
Leon returned his previous spot to chat a bit before bidding farewell to his friends. Everyone was tired and wanted to head home for a more comfortable rest. No one wanted to spend their nights on the field. Lynne didn’t say much as she thought Leon would stop her place later for another pill refining session. She could talk to him then, when there are less people. Fatty Ben was a handful to deal with. Leon was hugged on the thighs by him and had a hard time peeling him off. Fatty Ben wanted him to take him in as a subordinate. Rachel didn’t say much although she had a lot on her mind.
Looking at Leon’s back disappearing into the distance, Rachel had a complicated look that had a mixture of surprise and disappointment. She had informed her mother, who was searching for her missing son-in-law, about Leon.
Leon forgot to mention, which orphanage he was from and her mother had told her to ask Leon about it, but there is probably no longer a need to. Leon was a fire user like her. If it wasn’t for the marriage contract between her and the prince, then Leon would have also been a good candidate for marriage with his excellent talent.
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